As part of efforts to contain the outbreak of COVID-19, Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Malam Muhammad Bello, has banned eid prayers at the National Eid prayer ground along the Umaru Musa Yar’Adua Expressway.
According to a statement by the Minister’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Anthony Ogunleye, the decision was arrived at a meeting of the FCTA and a delegation from the FCT League of Imams Initiative.
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Ogunleye said the delegation led by its Chairman, Imam (Dr) Tajudeen M.B Adigun, met Bello to discuss the modalities for holding eid prayers for the upcoming Eid el-Fitr celebrations.
“All worshippers are enjoined to hold eid prayers outdoors within the premises of their neighborhood Juma’at mosques. Indoor worship are to be limited to less than 50% of installed capacity.
“Religious authorities are advised to regulate the flow of people entering and exiting places of worship. All non-pharmaceutical intervention protocols of facial coverings, physical distancing and hand washing are to be observed
“All other eid celebrations and activities should be confined to homes as all public parks, recreation and entertainment centres are to be closed,” the statement read.
The minister thanked the religious leaders for their cooperation in the battle against COVID-19, stressing that having gone through a first wave of the pandemic and a second wave that caused more fatalities, it was imperative to prevent a possible third wave as is being witnessed in some countries across the world.
“Consequently, based on presentations made by officials of the Health and Human Services Secretariat of the FCTA and the Implementation Guidelines for Phased Restriction of Movement issued by the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 on Monday. 10th May 2021, we came up with the guidelines,” Bello said in the statement.
Speaking on behalf of the League, Adigun said “In Islam, you listen to experts, those who are specialists and those who have actually discussed with us are experts in the field of medical sciences. In Islam, you also abide with the commands of leadership.
“Based on this and what we are convinced of, we urge Muslim Ummah to also respect this stand of the Administration of the FCT by observing our Eid prayers within our localities.”